Review: The year is 1940, London. The British ministry turns to propaganda films to boost morale at home. They hire a former secretary as a scriptwriter. She teams up with the lead scriptwriter Buckley and they set out to make an epic feature film based on the Dunkirk rescue.
Director: Lone Scherfig
Actors: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Paul Ritter, Rachael Stirling, Richard E. Grant, Henry Goodman, Jeremy Irons, Eddie Marsan and Helen McCrory
Genre: Comedy, Drama and Romance
Based on a novel by Lisa Evans. This film was previously entitled Their Finest Hour and a Half, in which the novel is named before the film’s title was shortened. This is a very charming and likeable film. It is one that will make you want to cry and also has elements that make you want to laugh. The cast are outstanding and they give it everything they have got. Bill Nighy’s performance is just incredible and have now seen him in a different light altogether. There is a scene in this where he is singing “Wild Mountain Thyme” in a pub in front of his team that he is working with and everyone then starts joining in. This scene made me go cold I found it so moving. I have never seen him sing seriously before and just shows what a great talented actor he is. Gemma Arterton was terrific in this and didn’t falter once. This part was made for her. I can’t possibly think of another actress who could have done the part more convincingly than her. Although before Gemma Arterton was cast Lily James was attached to star at the beginning. I have seen Sam Claflin in other films (Me Before You, 2016) but this is his best performance of them all and one that will be hard to beat. He had the hardest job of all the others and had to hold everything together. I don’t think his part was at all easy of him to pull it off but he did. All of the characters were so convincing and you believed in them all. In this there is a special cameo by Jeremy Irons but yet again his performance is so striking and unforgettable. The costuming for the 1940’s was spot on. In the film that they are making they act out a scene from Brief Encounter, 1945. There is a scene in this where Tom Buckley tells Catrin Cole that “Films are like life with the boring bits cut out”. This comes from a quote that Alfred Hitchcock once said.